How to Build Wooden Undercounter Workshop Cabinets

A woman in a workshop.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-300
What You'll Need
Carcass (box of the cabinet)
Face frame
False front
Circular saw
Wood glue

Building wooden under-counter workshop cabinets is not difficult. In fact, with the cost of high quality wooden furniture products being so high, it will certainly pay to learn how to construct an under-counter wooden workshop cabinet on your own.

Proper planning is the key to success, so at the outset, it is necessary to identify and have on hand required materials, tools and of course the plans to do the actual building. Also, be sure to consider safety aspects as well.

Step 1 - Crosscut and Rip Plywood

Using a circular saw, cross-cut (cross-cut means cutting across the grain of the wood and to the appropriate length) the stock to an appropriate height. Next, cross-cut the sides to a proper length and then make the base. Also make space for the kick-plate which, when installed, will preserve the doors of the workshop cabinet. Ripping the plywood, on the other hand, means cutting along the grain, also to the desired length.

Step 2 - Assemble the Carcass Unit

To assemble the carcass (cabinet box), it is important to first nail each side to a base. Then, with a framing square, draw a line on each side. Once the lines have been drawn, nail each side to the bottom but allow the nails to protrude slightly; they can always be properly set with the aid of a nail set.

Step 3 - Assemble the Face Frame

The cabinet face is an assembly comprising horizontal and vertical sticks. It can be assembled with the help of screws and once completed, can be attached to the cabinet. Normally, the face frame is attached to the carcass and will have openings which will later be covered by the cabinet doors.

Step 4 - Attach Carcass and Face Frame

Glue the plywood edges and face frame together. Using a clamp, hold the face frame in its proper place but be careful how you clamp the face frame to the carcass. Ensure that the edges are properly aligned before actually tightening the clamps.

Now, start drilling holes for the nails and then secure frame and carcass using appropriate-sized nails. Follow this by setting the nails with the help of a nail set, which should be done to about a sixteenth of an inch below the wood’s surface.

Step 5 - Build Doors and the False Front

Building the doors and the false fronts is very much like building the face frame. It requires ripping and cross-cutting stock to the desired length.

Step 6 - Build Drawers (optional)

This step is optional and can be done in a variety of ways.

Step 7 - Finish and Installing

Remember, prior to attaching doors and false fronts to the carcass, some sanding, and finishing of the carcass is required, after which the carcass can be installed in place.

Step 8 – Attaching/Installing

Attach hinges to either door and then attach one door to the main unit. Next, attach the second door and adjust if required before screwing everything into place. Finally, install the cabinet beneath the counter and in its desired position.

Building a wooden workshop cabinet need not be difficult. Have the right tools on hand and follow the essential steps outlined here. Anyone with ordinary handyman skills can make their own wooden workshop cabinets.